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Description - Passion and Virtue in Descartes by Byron Williston

Anglophone philosophers have on the whole overlooked much of the last ten years or so of Descartes' philosophical career. In the period following publication of the "Meditations", however, Descartes was extremely active in attempting to develop a comprehensive ethics, rooted in his analysis of human passions. His work in this area grew out of a lengthy correspondence with Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia and was later systematically presented in the "Passions of the Soul". The present volume is the first collection of essays dealing specifically with this aspect of Descartes' thinking. It is thus a valuable contribution to our understanding of the first modern philosopher. Since in the "Passions", Descartes provides us with the most sophisticated and extended discussion of the composite human being anywhere in his writings, this volume is an indispensable aid to understanding the full scope of Cartesian anthropology. Just what is the nature of the passions? Does Descartes' analysis of the passions undercut his dualism? How do the passions both contribute to our good, and, if we are not careful, prevent us from recognising it? How can the passions be regulated rationally? How do the passions affect our freedom? These and other questions are addressed in these original and insightful articles, all by leading Descartes scholars.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9781591020059
ISBN-10: 1591020050
Format: Hardback
(230mm x 155mm x 25mm)
Pages: 348
Imprint: Prometheus Books
Publisher: Prometheus Books
Publish Date: 1-May-2002
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Byron Williston

Byron A. Williston is assistant professor of philosophy at Wilfrid Laurier University. Andre Gombay is professor emeritus of philosophy at the University of Toronto and the editor of Descartes: Oeuvres completes on CD-ROM.

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